"India is not for the faint hearted" claimed the writer Dennis Freischlad, a statement which Renate Menneke can confirm from the bottom of her heart. Nevertheless, during her youth, this country – with its poverty, grace and beauty – had an allure that she could not withstand.
"India, that's a mixture of beauty, colourfulness, intense vitality, Bollywood, the contemporary high-tech world and wealth, slums, stench, suffering and intensive smells, alienness, mysticism and unfathomable misery." Renate Menneke experienced all this at firsthand during her time in India and it has continued to profoundly influence her right up to this day. Her paintings mirror the vibrant and clear colours and diversity of this country and of life generally. She has made it her vocation to help marginalized children who are enduring life in the slums or have been forced into child prostitution, children who – without help from outside – would just be left to their cruel fate.
Forgotten for many years, during a moment of silence, Renate Menneke remembered the promise she had once given, and from that moment on made the decision to keep her word. She looked for a way to help these children, to free them from the bonds of prostitution, to make it possible for them to live a dignified existence with clothes, food and education and a new perspective for the future.
Today she raises the financial funds necessary for this undertaking through the sales of her paintings. The proceeds are donated to a Christian organization in India that cares for children who have been freed from the bonds of child prostitution and are looked after in a children's home. Both material and psychological support is provided in an attempt to restore these children's human dignity.